A debutante’s diary: A chance meeting

Thursday October 1st, 1868

Alice left Leigh Court for London with a heavy heart. Her grandmother’s strictures meant she hadn’t been able to renew her acquaintance with George Morland Hutton, and the family was due to return to Paris shortly. However, as it turned out, all was not lost…

Of course I had to write and tell my retriever he couldn’t come, still par hasard I mentioned our train and its destination. Started with the most gloomy anticipation concerning our comfort en route, and after a slight upset on the road, arrived to have them agreeably dispersed; for contrary to her usual habits, that fickle Goddess Fortune had for once thought fit to make a slight deviation from her general rule, in our favour, and came to the assistance of the oppressed and innocent. While I was on the qui vive for a Taunton train, up steamed our own, and the first person who got out of it was Morland Hutton.

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Of course, he changed into our carriage, and under these happy auspices we started. I looked upon this charming rencontre as a decided victory, and diligently endeavoured to follow the advice of a clergyman, who informed us we should always make the most of the opportunities Providence is mercifully pleased to vouchsafe us: looking back I think I may say I conscientiously fulfilled my duty in that respect today.

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